Saturday, January 7, 2012

Everything Will Be All Right

Today, during our most unusual of winters, it dawned snow less and reached 49 degrees.  A pleasant day-we joined throngs of people exercise walking on the Vestal Rail Trail.

Four months ago today, it was so different.  The day dawned with expectations of heavy rain - perhaps 3 inches.  Instead, the rain came and came and came.  Flash flooding started.  On September 8, we recorded 7.49 inches of rain.  Historic flooding then hit, and my blog became one of too many stories of flood recovery mixed with my attempt to record what was happening in my little world.  My spouse and I were relatively lucky.  Many in our neighborhood and area were not.

We ended the year 2011 with an official rainfall total of 68.05 inches - the record, in 2006 (when we also had flooding - but just a fraction of this time) was 49.78 inches.

So how are we doing here in the Binghamton area with our recovery?  I want to share some neighborhood pictures with you, some taken today, some earlier.  It's been a hard road, and many have suffered.  But others have gotten employment from the clean up and the rebuilding.

But to give you some perspective - Tioga County, the county next to ours, lifted its state of emergency - this week.

One of the most hard hit areas of my neighborhood was a street called Endwell Street and the neighboring Oakdale Road. A business owner, at the corner of Endwell Street and Oakdale Road, put up the "Everything Will Be All Right" sign shortly after the flood, and it still stands.  Next to this building, immediately after the flood, was a tent manned by volunteers, serving neighborhood people meals.  The Red Cross helped out, as did the Salvation Army.

Feet from that building, one of my neighbors had to be deep water rescued attempting to evacuate when the floods hit.
This picture, taken in early December on Oakdale Road, shows a fraction of the rubble that had to be carted away.  These apartment houses had to be gutted.  I don't know if they will ever be reoccupied.

A few blocks away, work progressed today on the flood recovery of Ollies, a store that opened just a month  before the flood.
On another local street, a new foundation has been installed in this apartment building.  The power of water is incredible.Some condemned buildings were practically knocked off their foundations. 

But the most powerful sign of hope in our neighborhood is....the local YMCA.
Our local Y has been through the flood and flames.  Not only were they hit by the flood but, in the midst of their recovery there was a fire that put them even further behind.  But they make progress daily.

Local businesses continue to reopen.  Some, however, never will.  This property (photo taken in early November)  is up for sale.
So, life goes on.  I spent some time today reading my blog posts from immediately after the flood.  So much has happened.  And I'm glad I had this blog to record it in.

But finally, what about Endwell Street?  Sadly, most of it will never be occupied.  There will eventually be a buyout and the vacant houses will be torn down.  For now, they stand as a symbol of....well, those former residents are truly the ones who will have to tell you that.

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